Appropriate pain management for children who have experienced an acute burn injury is critical to improve patient outcomes and reduce potential morbidities. With 60% of our patients being under the age of 4 years, pain management is crucial in reducing pain and anxiety in both patients and parents. It is imperative that appropriate pain relief is commenced from initial contact with healthcare workers as this will affect the success or failure of future wound procedures. Uncontrolled pain can negatively affect a patient, both short and long term. It may cause anticipatory anxiety for future medical procedures, increased pain and anxiety can decrease wound re-epithelialization which can lead to long-term consequences for growth and mobility, and increased pain can also influence the possibility of patients and families displaying signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Pain management in the form of pharmaceuticals is imperative during burn wound treatment and should incorporate pain relief targeted at both background and procedural pain. It also requires a multimodal, individualized, and targeted approach combining both pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical techniques, including cold running water, multimodal distraction devices, hypnotherapy, and bubbles. We discuss the research and knowledge that our center has gained through treating pediatric patients with burns over the last 20 years.
Paediatr Drugs. 2021 Jan;23(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s40272-020-00434-y. Epub 2021 Jan 15.